Hawker/ Food Court/ Kopitiam

40 Best Mala Xiang Guo in Singapore: We Took 3 Months to Finish Trying

While researching for the best Mala Xiang Guo in Singapore, I saw several popular food websites confusing mala xiang guo 麻辣香锅 and mala huo guo 麻辣火锅.

Mala xiang guo (MLXG) is a stir-fried dry dish with some sauce, cooked by the vendor, whereas the latter is a hotpot that you (usually) have to cook the food yourself in the broth.  They are completely different dishes although they both originated from Sichuan/Chongqing region and have similar taste palette of numbing (ma 麻) and spicy (la 辣).

As such, we don’t consider Old Chengdu kiosk at People’s Park Centre and Beijing Mala Tang at Great World City (both stalls poach the ingredients and toss them with mala sauce) as MLXG; it is not stir-fried. We are also not considering restaurants like Long Qing (been there, didn’t blog about it) and Chong Qing Grilled Fish since restaurants have access to better resources; it’s like comparing apples and oranges. We are focussing on hawker centres and food courts.

A good mala xiang guo, to us, is not only numbing and spicy, it should also be aromatic (xiang 香). The spice should only be part of the flavour, and you should be able to taste the integrity of the ingredients. These are the criteria that we judge a good rendition.

Usually, you pick the ingredients yourself like at a niang tofu stall and the vendor will weigh vegetables and meat separately because they have different charges. (Many people like luncheon meat; Mr Fitness likes to get beef tripe (牛百叶); Chiobu likes tunghoon to soak up the sauce; and I like lotus root, instant noodles, black fungus, sliced beef, oyster mushroom, and pork belly. Anything like pork rind and broccoli that absorbs the sauce is great. )

And then you pay according to the weight of the ingredients you get. Sometimes they have fixed sets and sometimes the vendor will pick the ingredients for you. Whatever the case, it seems like a certain amount of trust is necessary, but if you think that you’re being overcharged, do not hesitate to clarify with the vendor on the spot. Humans can make calculation errors.

Mala xiang guo doesn’t have fixed pricing like chicken rice or nasi lemak, and it can be quite expensive, especially if you like mushrooms and they weigh mushroom as a meat. But depending on the ingredients you take, it should be about or less than $10 per person.

After you select the ingredients, the vendor will stir-fry them with a mala sauce and you can request for your spice level. We always request for xiao la 小辣 but you can order in increasing degrees of spiciness: wei la 微辣, wei-xiao la 微小辣, xiao la 小辣, xiao-zhong la 小中辣, zhong la 中辣, zhong-da la 中大辣, da la 大辣. Kinda like ordering steak: medium-rare, medium-well done. Note that different stalls have different standards of spiciness, so while you may handle zhong la at a stall, you may not take xiao la at another stall. The only way to know is to visit the stalls often or read this guide.

You may also request for less oil and less salt 少油少盐.

We paid for our own meals and visited the stalls anonymously, sometimes twice at each stall. This post took 4 months and numerous trips to the toilet to write it. I even fell sick several times because it’s too spicy and oily for my body. So please don’t steal the article; don’t cut and paste on other sites.

The ranking goes from our least favourite to the most:


Mala Hot Pot 麻辣香锅
1 Venture Avenue, Big Box Level 3, Yummy.Box foodcourt, Singapore 608521
10am to 10pm daily

Chef Yang Songtao, who graduated from culinary school in China in 1987, has more than 30 years of experience. The Chinese chef here is formerly head chef of Royal Hotel Singapore, but this isn’t the mlxg we know; it tastes more like sambal than mala.

Price: $12.80 for one. (Probably the most expensive one.)
Waiting Time: 20 minutes. (It was a short queue but the system is inefficient.)
Pros: Free rice, free soup, free dessert. Lots of seats. Many varieties of selection including seafood.
Cons: NA.


Wan Xing Mala Hot Pot 万兴麻辣香锅
10 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4 Choa Chu Kang MRT Station #01-17 Singapore 689812

Oh dear, initially, I wanted to write there is no such thing as bad mlxg but here it is. The pork belly is tough–is it cooked properly? It’s oily, not fragrant, and not mala.

Price: $8.50 for one, no rice. (pretty expensive for 2 veg and 1 meat)
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: They sell other things like soup noodles, and China cai fan. Convenient location.
Cons: The meats aren’t thawed properly and ingredients are arranged messily. The place is smelly and there are flies everywhere–how did it get a B for cleanliness?


Qian Wei Ma La 千味麻辣
301 Boon Lay Way,Boon Lay MRT Station,Singapore 649846

Too oily, too salty, not ma la. Good selection of ingredients.

Price: $6.50 for one person, with rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Clean place. They have their own shop.
Cons: NA.


Aljunied Mala Xiang Guo
90 Lorong 25A Geylang, Aljunied Station Coffee Shop 阿裕尼站咖啡店 Singapore 388265
tel: +6598364211
Opens at 12pm

They are situated in the street beside MRT. It’s bland but there is a weird buttery taste. The garlic is raw and not cooked, doesn’t provide any flavour to the dish.

Price: $11 for one.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Near MRT. They have lala, which is delicious.
Cons: You have to take the ingredients yourself with gloves. Why can’t they provide tongs? Also, they weigh everything together—vegetables and meat–and it’s expensive.


Chinese Cuisine 中国饭庄
Blk 735 Pasir Ris St 72, West Plaza, Sedap coffeeshop, Singapore 510735

They don’t sell pork here because the stall is in a halal kopitiam. But they have this frozen sliced beef tendon, usually found in la mian 拉面, that is especially tasty. The mala sauce is sweeter than elsewhere and more viscous, almost like a curry, instead of a mala sauce.

Price: $7 for one person, with rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: They sell other things like soup noodles, and China cai fan. Carpark in the building.
Cons: Dirty cutlery (I’m not the most hygienic person, so when I say it’s dirty, it means it’s seriously dirty.)


Yi Lu Fa F&B 一路发饮食
3 New Bugis Street #03-39/40 Singapore 188867
tel: +65 6338 9665 /  +65 8204 9674
10.30am – 10pm daily

This stall is accessible through the New Bugis Street (pasar malam). There is a sign on that stall that claims it has been around since 1986–not sure if it is true. It’s run by Thais when we were there, and there is a Thai food stall beside it. Maybe the Thai stall has been there since 1986.

Before you reach the stall, you will smell a fetid stench of poor ventilation. The mala itself is not bad but it is too salty and one-dimensional. The sauce is paste-like, which I didn’t like.

Price: $19.50 for two persons.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Plenty of seats.
Cons: Expensive.


Tian Fu Ren Jia Chinese Delicacies 天府人家  
Blk 34 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #01-864 Singapore 160034
tel: 6878 0087

They weigh the meat together with the veg… which is strange. I should have asked but I was too shocked to react. Anyway, there isn’t much flavour here.

Price: $10, no rice
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they deliver.)
Pros: They have the entire shop. They serve the dish to you.
Cons: NA.


Sha Mei 傻妹麻辣香锅
90 Bras Basah Road #B1-33 Esplanade Xchange Food Inn Singapore 189562

It’s not numbing, and it’s quite bland except from a sharp spiciness. The spicinese doesn’t seem to be the Sichuan pepper kind, but from fresh chilli. The meats are overcooked. But the ingredients are fresh and of good quality.

Price: $11.50 for two persons, 1 rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Central location. Plenty of seats. Affordable.
Cons: They don’t use weighing scale, they gauge, which doesn’t seem to be an accurate system although it’s affordable. You use plastic gloves to grab the food yourself. I don’t like it because raw food may touch your hand.


You Ma You La Ma La Xiang Guo 又麻又辣麻辣香锅
Blk 51 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, S-11 Food House, Singapore 569922; 11am – 11pm daily
Blk 183 Toa Payoh Central #01-316 Singapore 310183
Blk 304 Woodlands Street 11, S-11 Food Court, Singapore 730304
Blk 660A Edgedale Plains #02-01, Singapore 821660

You Ma You La is a popular chain stall which started at AMK. It isn’t fragrant and mala enough but they add fresh chilli (on top of dried chilli) which added a different dimension.

Price: $12.70 for one person, no rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they have beepers but the coffeeshop was quiet and the kind PRC lady delivered the food to tables.)
Pros: You can order them on food delivery sites.
Cons: Expensive.


Zhe Bian Lai Zhong Hua Mei Shi 这边来中华美食
71 Kallang Bahru #01-529A Singapore 330071

It’s alright. There isn’t much flavour and it’s overly salty. We think they added too much dou ban jiang (fermented beans) into it; the saltiness overpowers the dish.

Price: $16.50 for two persons, one rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they deliver to the table)
Pros: It’s a restaurant with a comfortable setting. They serve other Sichuan dishes.
Cons: N.A.


Ma La Xiang Guo 麻辣香锅
32 New Market Road #01-1036 & #01-1060A People’s Park Complex Food Centre Singapore 050032

This stall handles the spillover crowd that doesn’t want to queue at Ri Ri Hong. It adds too many pieces of bay leaves and has a whiff of curry, which I think mlxg shouldn’t have. But the ingredients are of a better quality than Ri Ri Hong.

Price: $7.50 for one person, including rice.
Waiting Time: 10 minutes
Pros: NA.
Cons: They pick the food for you without a weighing scale, so the portioning is rather inaccurate. They don’t have a proper queue system so you have to stand or sit around the stall.


Joyful Palace Ma La Xiang Guo 怡乐坊麻辣香锅
Block 443 Clementi Avenue 3, Food Pavillion Coffeeshop 好食城 Singapore 120443
11.30am to 11pm daily

It’s a good bowl if you like salty/savoury food. They put in lots of garlic. But they stir-fried the beef together with the rest of the ingredients, so the beef is over-cooked and tough. The pork is also gamy that the mala could not cover it. But flavours are great.

Price: $6.10 for one person, no rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a beeper.)
Pros: NA
Cons: NA


Lao Lao Mala Xiang Guo 捞捞麻辣香锅
325 Clementi Avenue 5, 泉成餐食 Quan Cheng Coffeeshop Singapore 120325

It is ok. The meat is a little tough, but flavours are decent.

Price: $8.10 for one person, no rice. (minimum order of $8)
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a beeper but I was alone during an off-peak time, and it’s nice of the guy to deliver)
Pros: Huge carpark. Love the kopitiam! Nice comfortable chairs, bright, and clean. All kopitiams should be like that.
Cons: NA


Hot Hot Pot 麻辣天后锅
Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, Food Republic #B1-28/2 Singapore 608532
Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Rd, Food Republic Level 4 Stall 18, Singapore 238877

Cute name, named after a Taiwanese talk show about cosmetics and women’s issues. Very popular with Filipinos. The bowl is alright. Too salty. It’s spicy but not mala.

Price: $25.90 for two, including 2 bowls of rice
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a beeper)
Pros: Comfortable environment.
Cons: Few ingredient choices. Expensive.


e Pin Hong Mala Hot Pot e品红麻辣香锅
Blk 711 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, S11, Singapore 560711

Quite fragrant and sourish and spicy enough. But it is way too salty. Perhaps it is because we took noodles. Usually other stalls use the maggi-mee type, but here they use the Indo-mie type, which gives better texture but is much, much saltier.

Price: $14.50 for two, no rice but 2 noodles
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a number and you stand around to wait)
Pros: NA.
Cons: They weigh vegetables with meat. What?


Thye Guan Fragrant Hot Pot 泰源麻辣香锅
204 Bedok North Street 1 #01-393 Happy Hawkers Singapore 460204

It’s quite not bad if a bit oily. It has some ingredients that I don’t see elsewhere like this braised beancurd skin that is pressed into a cube.

Price: $6, no rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a beeper)
Pros: Comfortable environment. Very affordable. They have interesting ingredients.
Cons: NA.


Ri Ri Hong Mala Xiang Guo 日日红麻辣香锅
32 New Market Road #01-1036 & #01-1152 People’s Park Complex Food Centre Singapore 050032
11am-9pm daily

Ri Ri Hong is so popular that it now has two stalls at different sides of the hawker centre. It is so popular that it has annihilated its competitor in the same premises, Mala Xiang Guo Ju 麻辣香锅居, which has shut down.

We went twice for a more accurate assessment. It is not spicy the first time, but it is just right the second time. Nicely spicy and numbing, although there is not much aroma. Probably because they don’t put peanuts (most stalls do). Their popularity may be due to their affordability too. A nice bowl of mala xiang guo but nothing really outstanding about it. It could benefit from ingredients of better quality.

Price: $11.50 (first time), $12.50 (second time) for two persons (very worth it)
Waiting Time: 15 minutes (It was a long queue but they work swiftly. You order at the front of the stall, and you will be given a queue number. Then you walk to the back of the stall to collect the food when they call your number.)
Pros: Affordable.
Cons: No peanuts.


Chinatown Mala Hot Pot 牛车水麻辣香锅
1 Tampines Walk, Hawker Centre @ Our Tampines Hub #01-36, Singapore 528523

It’s nicely balanced, but it’s too saucy, and not spicy or numbing enough.

Price: $10.20 for one person, no rice.
Waiting Time: 7 to 8 minutes (they give you a beeper)
Pros: Large carpark at basement.
Cons: Expensive.


Fu Yuan Ma La Xiang Guo 福源麻辣香锅
ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006

They pick the ingredients for you here, and sell them by portions, rather than weight. It’s pretty good with a heavy Sichuan pepper taste, the way it should be. It is less salty than elsewhere, which is great for health reasons.

Price: $8.50 for two persons (very worth it)
Waiting Time: 7 to 8 minutes (they give you a number and they call your number when it’s ready. Stay around the stall.)
Pros: Carpark. Very affordable.
Cons: NA.


Hao Zai Lai Ma La Xiang Guo 好再来麻辣香锅
Blk 132 Jurong Gateway Road, Happy Hawkers 喜多福 Coffeeshop, Singapore 600132

Excellent bowl. Has a lovely wok hei. They cook vegetables very well; the mala has permeated into the spaces between the broccoli stalks, and the lettuce remains crispy. However, the meat is stringy and of a low quality.

Price: $15.60 for two
Waiting Time: 15 minutes (There were only 2 people in front of me and we waited for 15 minutes. Not Singapore efficiency. They give you a beeper so you don’t have to stand around)
Pros: N.A.
Cons: Limited options.


Du Liu Xiang Chinese Restaurant 独留湘特色中餐
257 Geylang Road Singapore 389313
tel: +65 6745 8202 / +65 9776 4038

It cannot get as authentic as this casual restaurant, full of PRC men drinking Chinese beer and 王老吉; I was the only Singaporean. The mlxg came on a burning pot, which is a nice touch but unnecessary. Tastewise, it is pretty awesome. There is a nice carby taste of potato, although I didn’t take any. The beef is tender and the lamb is buttery. Both are marinated so on top of the mala taste, they have an added dimension. But the dish is too oily and it is not mala enough.

Price: $15 for one, no rice. (minimum $8 order. I took the ingredients on my own, but the cashier insisted I didn’t take enough and she took for me. I said no several times, but she ignored me. And that ballooned the price but she was being helpful.)
Waiting Time: 10 minutes (it’s a restaurant, they deliver to your table.)
Pros: It’s a restaurant.
Cons: Hard to find parking.


Wan Xiang Mala Xiang Guo 万兴麻辣香锅
1008 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534746
tel: +65 6123 4567 / +65 91290988
12pm-2am daily

They have one outlet at Choa Chu Kang MRT (which ranks lowly on this list), but this outlet is much better. It’s a pretty good bowl but it can be less oily and can have more depth. Feels like they are not using enough aromatic spices. Also, we didn’t order lotus root and instant noodles but we had it in our bowl. I guess that’s from the previous customer. Not bad huh, got freebie.

Price: $20.20 for two persons, including 2 bowls of rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Bright lights, clean environment. They serve other Sichuan food like 辣子鸡 and 水煮鱼.
Cons: Pretty expensive. The choosing ingredient method is strange, you pick the vegetables from the fridge but you have to ask at the counter for the meat.


Zhen Pin Hong Mala Xiang Guo 真品红麻辣香锅
51 Yishun Avenue 11 #01-38 Yishun Park Hawker Centre Singapore 768867

The 小辣 (small spice) is not spicy at all. And while it is not aromatic and not numbing and not spicy, the sauce is savoury and delicious. Excellent when the rice soaks up the sauce.
Besides the delicious sauce, the ingredients are also of excellent quality, especially the pork belly. It comes in thick, clean slices, not at all gamy. Usually stalls provide inferior meats, but here, the high quality ingredients contribute to a great difference to the meal.

Price: $10.90 for two (very worth it)
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give you a beeper so you don’t have to stand around)
Pros: Excellent quality meats. Good value. Parking within the building. Clean surrounding.
Cons: Hawker centre is hard to get to.


Ma La Xiang Guo 麻辣香锅
Alexandra Village Food Centre #01-42, Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120

When it arrives, it is very fragrant, more fragrant than other stalls’. And it is very spicy for the xiao la we ordered. It uses lots of onions whereas other stalls use more garlic. But the winning factor is that it has a nice char smokiness, as if it is being bbq-ed. Some people may not like the char, but it is distinct and adds a depth to the dish for us. However, the meat is a little tough.

Price: $10.60 for two
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Carpark.
Cons: NA


Bear Baby Spicy Fragrant Pot 熊宝宝麻辣香锅
AMK Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, Foodfare #03-12, Singapore 569933

It could be spicier and the meats are over-cooked but it has a 甘香 dry fragrance with a nice earthy flavour.

Price: $22.70 for two, including 2 bowls of rice
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give you a number and you stand around to wait until they call your number)
Pros: Nice environment.
Cons: Pretty expensive.


Xiao Man Niu Mala Xiang Guo 小蛮牛麻辣香锅
Various outlets (usually found at foodcourts) at Tampines One, IMM, Northpoint, Northpoint City (halal), Food Xchange @ Admiralty, Compass One, Kampong Chai Chee Community Centre, The Star Vista, Hillion Mall, NUH Medical Centre, Changi City Point (halal), Paya Lebar Square (halal), West Mall, Vivocity, HDB Hub (Toa Payoh), Clementi Mall, Suntec, Lau Pa Sat, and Waterway Point, Singpost Centre (halal)

Xiao Man Niu is a popular MLXG chain with 17 outlets, including the popular Star Vista and some halal outlets (such as the popular Paya Lebar Square outlet). It’s a good bowl. Numbing, spicy, and there is an earthy fragrance. They add sesame, which is great, and there is a sourness like Sichuan cai. My only complaint is that we tried it twice (for a more accurate review), but the spiciness was different both times although we ordered 小辣 for both times.

Price: $19.80 (first time), $16.30 (second time) for two persons.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes
Pros: Many outlets, including halal ones to share with our fellow Singaporeans.
Cons: Expensive.


Xiang Piao Piao Ma La Xiang Guo 香飘飘麻辣香锅 
10 Sengkang Square Kopitiam Square Singapore 544829

There are two stalls here but this is the one with the long queue. I was crying as I was eating because it was too spicy! (although, as usual, I always order xiao la.) But besides hitting the trifecta of numbing, spicy, fragrant, they are also packed with umami and a lovely wok hei. Their ingredients are also fresher and of better quality than other stalls on this list. They also provide a wide ranging amount of selection. Their pork belly is superb, just full of fats and no meat.

Price: $10.60 for one
Waiting Time: 15 minutes (they give you a number tag and when the LCD display shows your tag, you collect your food)
Pros: good quality ingredients. Efficient and cheerful (and pretty) cashier.
Cons: Expensive. Too spicy, so spicy that my gums swell and I developed a headache and I LS the whole night and next day, 3am, 4am, 5am, 10am, 3pm! I ordered xiao la as usual, so they either mixed up my order or their spice level is really high.


Yi Xiang Yuan Spicy Hotpot 溢香源麻辣香锅
Old Airport Road Market #01-13, 51 Old Airport Road Singapore 390051

It was a one-man operation when we were there; he picks the food for you, and he cooks. It’s very spicy with a nice mala fragrance. The meats are cooked a little too tough but the pork rind has absorbed all the flavours. Addictive!

Price: $11.50 (with noodles, no rice)
Waiting time: 5 minutes.
Pros: Lots of other food stalls to eat here. Clear pricing: veg $1, Pork $2, Beef lamb seafood $3.
Cons: They need to figure out a queue system.


Tian Tian Xiang Shang Ma La Xiang Guo 天天向上麻辣香锅
110 Pasir Ris Central, Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre #02-21, Singapore 519641
16 Bedok South Road, Bedok South Market, Singapore 460016
221 Boon Lay Place, Boon Lay Shopping Centre, Singapore 640221

This is very tasty. It is not-so-spicy, so you may want to up a level of your usual spice order. But it’s numbing and the sauce goes well with rice. Ingredients are nicely cooked and fresh.

Price: $16 for two persons, two bowls of rice.
Waiting time: 35 minutes.
Pros: They have carpark and it’s near the mrt station.
Cons: Super long queue. Quite expensive.


Jin Jin Eating House 金金餐食
496 North Bridge Road Singapore 188739 (Bugis)
6am – 3am daily
Tel: +65 8812 1121

When the bowl arrived, it was quite aromatic. The meats are tender, and not overly cooked and tough like most mlxg. The sauce is great; ma and la in a nice balance. It goes very well with rice, but may be too oily.

Price: $14.50 for two persons, one rice
Waiting time: 5 minutes.
Pros: Town area. They have two storeys, including an air-conditioned second floor. Quite affordable.
Cons: N.A.


Wang Xing Ma La Kitchen 旺兴麻辣小厨
Far East Plaza #05-92, 14A Scotts Road Singapore 228214
Tel: +65 6732 0026
10.30am – 9.30pm

Not to be confused with the Choa Chu Kang one with a similar name. This restaurant serves a fantastic bowl. Although it can be more numbing, it’s super fragrant with earthy spices smelling almost like a dry rub. The beef is overcooked, but all other ingredients are great; the veg still retains its crispiness.

Price: $8.50 for one, no rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they deliver to your table)
Pros: Nice setting. They deliver to your table.
Cons: You have to order above $8 or they will charge you $2 for the mala sauce. How come got restriction one? #freethesauce #sauceforall


Shuai Guo La Mei Fragrant Hotpot 帅锅辣妹麻辣香锅
Blk 735 Pasir Ris St 72, West Plaza, Koufu coffeeshop, Singapore 510735
City Hall MRT Level 3 The Food Place Stall 1, Singapore 179103
Blk 258 Pasir Ris St 21, Loyang Point #02-09 Singapore 510258
Blk 822 Tampines St 81 #01-196 Singapore 520822

A very good bowl that not only satisfies the numbing, spicy, fragrant factors, the food is also well-cooked. The vegetables are still crispy, and the pork is tender and succulent. But I think mala should be dryer, and more like a paste, but here, the mala sauce is fluid. Still, a very effort.

Price: $7 for one, no rice
Waiting Time: 10 minutes (they give you a beeper)
Pros: Carpark at the same building.
Cons: NA.


Zheng Zong Chuan Wei Ma La Xiang Guo 正宗川味麻辣香锅
Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre #01-48, 208 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 460209

I was there at 5.10pm, and there was already a queue. They will take for you by the portion. This bowl is fantastic. It has a great fragrance and is numbing. There is an earthy flavour which I love. It’s not spicy and too oily–you can order one step up from your usual spice level–but it has a great balance. I get free potato noodles, which is probably from the previous order.

Price: $10, no rice.
Waiting Time: 15 minutes (You stand around and they shout for your number)
Pros: Great service. Clear price list (Veg $1, meat $2, lamb and beef $3).
Cons: Expensive.


Shan Ji Fragrant Hotpot 山鸡麻辣香锅
8 Grange Road, #B1-01, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard Koufu, Singapore 239693
Tel: +65 9817 9106

This is very good. More numbing than spicy but with enough spice to keep your belly afire.

Price: $21.10 for two persons.
Waiting Time: 15 minutes
Pros: In town. Clear pricing at the stall.
Cons: Expensive.


Mala Hotpot 麻辣香鍋
JEM Level 5, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, Cookhouse Stall 8, Singapore 608549
10am – 10pm daily

This has the WOW factor, like seeing a supermodel for the first time. But after a while, when we got clear-headed enough and thought about what mlxg should be, this one isn’t numbing enough, it’s overly salty, and it tastes like the Maggi Mee curry powder. The pork belly is hard and there is bone in them, which is the first for us. It’s also very oily. Still, it’s super, super delicious.

Price: $18.90 for two, no rice.
Waiting Time: 15 minutes (long queue but they work very quickly. However, it will be good if they can install a beeper system.)
Pros: NA.
Cons: Expensive.


Ri Ri Sheng Mala Pot 日日昇麻辣香鍋
823A Tampines Street 81 #01-02 Food Park Singapore 521823
11.30am-9pm, closed Wed

This MLXG stands out because it ticks all the right boxes. Spicy, numbing, fragrant, with a good balance in all areas. Really, it’s hard to get better than this, except maybe use better ingredients. But it’s fantastic as it is.

Price: $14.60 for two (we order a lot)
Waiting Time: 10 minutes (they give you a number tag and when the LCD display shows your tag, you collect your food)
Pros: Carpark at the same building.
Cons: NA.


Old Chengdu Mala Xiang Guo 老成都麻辣香锅
Changi Airport Terminal 1 Building, 80 Airport Boulevard, Staff Canteen, Singapore 819642
Changi Airport T1 Canteen

They have a restaurant in Chinatown and a kiosk at People’s Park Centre, but that kiosk poaches the ingredients and cannot be called mlxg. This stall, however, stir-fries its ingredients.

The spice level is higher than other places, so you may want to order one notch lower than your usual. They pick the ingredients for you so the fridge remains neat, although I prefer that we can pick ourselves so that we know how much ingredients go in the bowl.

The mlxg is very fragrant and the ingredients are of good quality, very fresh. The pork rind is not gamy at all and absorbs the sauce like a sponge. However, I wish they didn’t cut and slice their ingredients so thinly; it disrupts the mouthfeel. We like the rice too, which is harder than elsewhere, so the hardness mitigates the spiciness somehow.

Price: $16.80 for two persons, including 2 bowls of rice
Waiting time: almost 0.
Pros: Great foodcourt, very clean and bright and beautiful.
Cons: N.A.


Ma La Hot Pot 麻辣香鍋
166 Woodlands Street 13, Chang Cheng Mee Wah coffeeshop 长城美华, Singapore 730166
9.30am-10pm daily, rest time 3pm – 4pm

I like heavy-handed food and this one is. It’s just-enough spicy and slightly greasy and it leaves the entire mouth numb. It’s the kind that leaves the mouth tingling because of the acidity and not because of the spiciness.

Price: $7.80 for one, no rice.
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they deliver to the table)
Pros: Big carpark. Love that they give lots of peanuts.
Cons: The fridge is small and they packed it fully with ingredients with some of them at the back so it’s hard to take.


Fragrant Hot Pot 飘香麻辣香锅
313@Somerset, Food Republic 5th level, Singapore 238895

This is amazing. It has the 甘香 “dry fragrance” and the meats are cooked excellently, not too hard, still tender, unlike other stalls that tend to overcook. There is a hint of curry (which we didn’t like) but the mala is still stronger. Each bowl comes with lots of real spices, not paste, like cinnamon stick, bay leaf, clove, garlic, etc.
Although the pork belly has bones (most stalls don’t serve it with bones), there is a nice selection of ingredients, which other stalls don’t, including string beans and chicken feet.

Price: $15.20 for one
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they give a beeper)
Pros: Many tables.
Cons: Expensive. Slow service although there are two cashiers; they were arguing about the price. Also they were rather unhygienic. They wear glove on one hand but they sometimes use the ungloved hand to take raw food and sometimes use the gloved hand to collect money. So really, what’s the point of gloves?


Green On Earth
2 Phoenix Road, Phoenix Heights, Singapore 668156
11am – 10pm daily
Tel: +65 6769 2230

This vegetarian casual restaurant has amazingly aromatic mala sauce that numbs the entire mouth. And the vegetables are much fresher than elsewhere, making it such a delight to eat greens. For the first time, I took instant noodles and they soaked up all the delicious sauce, making it really sour and appetising. It’s slightly oily but I can accept it.

Price: $10 for one (minimum $10 order, I took up to $10.20 but the lady charged me $10 anyway)
Waiting Time: 5 minutes (they deliver to the table)
Pros: Carpark at the estate. Many tables. Vegetarian.
Cons: Expensive.


10 Best Mala Xiang Guo in Singapore

#10. Wang Xing Ma La Kitchen (Far East Plaza)
#9. Shuai Ge La Mei Fragrant Hotpot (Pasir Ris)
#8. Zheng Zong Chuan Wei Ma La Xiang Guo (Bedok Interchange)
#7. Shanji Fragrant Hot Pot (Cineleisure Orchard)
#6. Mala Hotpot (Cookhouse @ JEM)
#5. Ri Ri Sheng Mala Pot (Tampines St 81)
#4. Old Chengdu Mala Xiang Guo (Changi Airport Terminal 1)
#3. Ma La Hot Pot (Woodlands Street 13)
#2. Fragrant Hot Pot (313 @ Somerset)
#1. Green on Earth (Bukit Panjang)

For your convenience, we classify good MLXG according to the region:

Best Mala Xiang Guo in Central Singapore
#1. Fragrant Hot Pot 飘香麻辣香锅 (313@Somerset, Food Republic)
#2. Shan Ji Fragrant Hotpot 山鸡麻辣香锅 (Cathay Cineleisure Orchard Koufu)
#3. Wang Xing Ma La Kitchen 旺兴麻辣小厨 (Far East Plaza Orchard)

Best Mala Xiang Guo in East Singapore
#1. Old Chengdu Mala Xiang Guo (Changi Airport Terminal 1)
#2. Ri Ri Sheng Mala Pot (Tampines St 81)
#3. Zheng Zong Chuan Wei Ma La Xiang Guo (Bedok)

Best Mala Xiang Guo in North Singapore
#1. Green On Earth (Bukit Panjang)
#2. Ma La Hot Pot 麻辣香鍋 (Woodlands Street 13)
#3. Bear Baby Spicy Fragrant Pot 熊宝宝麻辣香锅 (AMK Hub)

Best Mala Xiang Guo in Northeast Singapore
#1. Xiang Piao Piao Ma La Xiang Guo (Sengkang)
#2. Xiao Man Nu Ma La Xiang Guo (Waterway Point, Punggol)
#3. Wan Xiang Mala Xiang Guo (Upper Serangoon)

Best Mala Xiang Guo in West Singapore
#1. Mala Hotpot 麻辣香鍋 (JEM Foodcourt)
#2. Ma La Xiang Guo 麻辣香锅 (Alexandra Village Food Centre)
#3. Hao Zai Lai Ma La Xiang Guo 好再来麻辣香锅 (Jurong East)

Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

19 replies »

  1. Chef has either changed or gone for a holiday as right after their renovation, the taste has changed completely which is very disappointing. It used to be 麻,辣 and 香 but now it’s only left with a slight fragrance. It doesn’t have any Oomph or pack any punch. Really hope that this is temporary.


  2. Hi, great list! I live in Tampines and I totally agree with you on both no.5, Ri Ri Sheng, it is the best Mala Xiang Guo I have had so far, and no.23, Chinatown Mala at Our Tampines Hub. It ain’t that good and it is quite expensive indeed, but I am surprised it came one spot above Ri Ri Hong, the most famous Mala Xiang Guo in Singapore. I haven’t tried Ri Ri Hong yet (been meaning to), so I can’t comment too much on that.

    However, for your no.9 posting, Shuai Guo La Mei Fragrant Hotpot 帅锅辣妹麻辣香锅, you listed that it has a branch in Tampines, at Blk 822 Tampines St 81 #01-196. There is only one Mala Xiang Guo place at that block, LaBuLa, a stand-alone restaurant (to the best of my knowledge, there are no coffee shops/hawker centres at Block 822). Perhaps you might want to check on that?

    I have tried LaBuLa at Block 822 Tamp St 81, and I would put it in between Chinatown Mala at Tamp Hub and Ri Ri Sheng. If you haven’t, I feel that it is definitely worth a try and a spot on the list!

    Fellow (dormant) food-blogger’s opinion and Mala lover btw! thecrazydonny.wordpress.com

    Great job on the list nonetheless! Persevere on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Somerset 313 5th floor Mala Xiang Guo? Well my friends from Chengdu and Szechuan says the original taste of Mala is totally missing. Too much 5 spices which totally covered the taste. Ingredients aren’t as fresh when they first started. Waiting time too long.

    There are so many other mala fragrance pot around Singapore which some of them are cooked by Szechuan chef. One of the best which I have tasted is at Toa Payoh Kim Keat Palm & Food Market. You don’t get to choose the ingredients as chef will always change the ingredients but it’s authentically Mala Fragrance Pot.


  4. #03 at woodlands Blk 166 recently moved, really love this stall & the friendly boss. Do you have any contact with them? The replacement is not good at all, all items soaked in water, taste watered down. Thanks!


  5. Which of these stores would you recommend as a good replacement for Xiang Piao Piao? It used to have a branch in the east near my house but it’s gone now and I’ve been craving like crazy haha


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